Yesterday, the Chamber of Deputies approved an amendment to the Act on Land Transport (No. 13/1997 Coll.), including an amendment allowing the possibility of increasing the speed on our highways up to 150 km/h in the future. However, this plan was opposed by the Minister of Transport, Dan Ťok , who emphasized that the aim of the ministry is to unify the Czech highway network, not to increase speed.
The main goal is to simplify the marking of our roads not only for domestic, but also for foreign drivers. As of January 1, 2016, motorists will no longer encounter the term expressway , as our backbone road network will now only consist of highways. On selected sections of Class I roads that meet the safety parameters, the sign "road for motor vehicles" will be placed and the speed will be allowed to increase from 90 to 110 km/h. But such a step will have to be approved by the relevant region after the security requirements have been verified.
"The Czech highway network is currently not built so that it can be safely driven at a speed of 150 km/h. Therefore, the Ministry of Transport will not select any sections where the speed would increase up to this limit. The speed increase on a specific highway section is always defined and approved by the Ministry of Transport. The approval of the Ministry of the Interior will also be a condition. The decision of the deputies to put into law the possibility to increase the speed to 150 km/h is not even a good psychological message for drivers. I don't want drivers racing on the highways. On the contrary, I wish them to drive safely and respectfully," said Transport Minister Dan Ťok .
"However, the situation is completely different for selected sections of Class I roads, which are directionally divided and have level crossings. On these sections, we want to enable an increase in speed from 90 km/h to 110 km/h by law from next year, because they are structurally appropriate. Even in this case, the speed increase to 110 km/h must be approved by the relevant region for each section, and the higher speed must not endanger the safety of drivers," added Ťok.
The amendment to the Act on Roads will further strengthen the powers of municipalities with extended jurisdiction , which will be able to limit or prohibit the entry of trucks weighing 12 tons or more on roads II. and III. classes. An exception to such a ban will only apply to a truck that has a loading, unloading, maintenance or repair or headquarters/office at the location. "Municipalities with extended powers will thus have a tool in the law to prevent bypassing tolled sections of highways on roads of lower classes," said the Minister of Transport. The condition for banning the entry of vehicles over 12 tons will be the statement of the traffic police, who will have the opportunity to issue a dissenting opinion in the event of a threat to the safety and smoothness of road traffic.
The owner of the road remains obliged to notify at least 7 days in advance that it is forbidden to stop or stand on the road if repair, maintenance or cleaning of the road is to take place there. This will not apply to sudden restrictions, for example in the form of a water pipe accident, etc. The change will take place after the end of the event. If the owner of the vehicle has not fulfilled the obligation before, the owner of the road can tow the car away, but after the end of the event, he must return it to the appropriate place, or the place closest to it. The new amendment expressly prohibits the decommissioning of wrecks. After two months, the wreck must be disposed of at the expense of the last known owner. According to the municipal law, a penalty of up to 200,000 crowns can be imposed for pollution or damage to a purpose-built road.
The Senate and President Miloš Zeman will now consider the amendment to the Act on Land Transport. However, he has already stated that he considers the decision of the deputies to increase the speed limit on the highway to be irresponsible, and if the amendment passes the Senate, he will veto it.
Source: Ministry of Transport, iDnes.cz , ceskedalnice, cz